Question: What Do We Fear?

coffee7.jpgI have a hunch that our fears have a way of limiting how we function in our relationships. 

 
Most of us, for example, are a part of a group or groups of people in which we share some kind of relationship.
 

  • We might have a small circle of friends.
  • We might be in some sort of ministry group.
  • We might be a part of some group (work, church, community) that is focused on completing a task.
  • We might be in a prayer group, Bible study group, "life" group, etc.

I have been watching Jesus in the Gospels.  There is something about the way he relates to people that is very attractive.  There is something about the way he loves the people that seems very deliberate and intentional.  He relates to others without the self-consciousness that for many of us often seems to act as a fence or barrier that we never quite get beyond.   

 
I’m curious.  What are the fears that have a way of putting limits on these relationships?  What are the fears that keep our relationships in these groups at a very superficial level? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “Question: What Do We Fear?

  1. The fear I have that keeps my relationship superficial is the critism one gets if one or more in the group are jealous of you, or critical.
    It’s been years since I’ve had a church family, and I doubt I will ever go back.  Single women don’t seem to be welcome in church, nor are people who have trials bigger than what the "normal" might be.
    I was rejected from groups.  One woman gave me a hug as a new person in her church, and I thought I was making a friend.  While she was hugging me, she whispered in my ear that I better not be there for their husbands.  She was the church’s song leader.  Another woman from the same church pulled in my driveway and said something very similar to me.
    I avoid church groups because of the criticism of not having the right clothes, the right home, the right car, the right job..yadda yadda. 
    I guess that’s why I read blogs like yours.  You can get the teaching without having to put up with all the drama.  You don’t have to try to fit in when you get your teaching from the Internet.
    I guess I’ve been conditioned to be superficial, never able to get into a trusting relationship with Christians because to do so, you risk being the center of gossip, being judged, or humiliated.

  2. I am so glad that you left this comment.  In fact, after having been hurt this way, I feel honored that you would leave these thoughts on this blog.I am so sorry for the rejection you have experienced in churches.  The story of the woman hugging you and then whispering such a thing is shameful.  The lack of "the right car, right clothes, right job, etc. never made any difference to Jesus and should make no difference to anyone who would wear his name.As I read your remarks, I thought about the words of Jesus to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 ("Woe to you…).  From my reading of this passage, the very things that hurt you in these churches would deeply bother and disgust Jesus.I am thankful that you read this blog.  I am thankful that you comment.  Please continue to read, comment, and discuss. 

  3. It’s okay.  It happened a very long time ago.  I know Jesus doesn’t condone it, and I don’t blame Christians.  They’re human like everyone else.  🙂

  4. i know of a married woman (my friend) that was always wondering why she was never included in any of the church functions, womens meetings etc.
    jealousy.
    she was a model. she was beautiful. they hated her. 
    if they only knew, she was just a woman…like them…just wrapped a bit different on the outside than them…had they known that and saw her heart they would have loved her.
    her life fell apart.
    no one was there to help her pick it up.
    i was hundreds of miles away.
     

  5.  thanks for your blog…very thought provoking…and as the thoughts mature into action i am feeling more ALIVE.
    thanks.

  6. I got to thinking about this topic and I wonder if maybe the women in church who pushed me away were acting out of fear that kept them at a superficial level.
    Perhaps before me, there were women in the church they had to deal with that was not there for the right reasons, and when I came along, they reacted out of previous experience.
    For years I blamed Christian women and avoided them out of fear they would think the same of me those women thought.
    I wasn’t mature enough back then to know how to react, so I withdrew from them instead of try to be friends.  I wish I knew then what I learned today. 
    You made me think about this topic and instead of looking at people like they are deliberately rejecting you, I’m going to try to look at them like they are reacting out of their own fears and it may not be what they want to  behave like.
    I have to think about this.  I wonder how many friendships could have blossomed if I wasn’t acting out of my own fear of what others will think of me, not realizing they may have been doing the same.

  7. ..What an interesting comment.  You have obviously done some good thinking about this.It is interesting to see what drives or motivates to act as we do.  It could be, as you suggest, that this group had a problem with another person long before they met you.  (It doesn’t excuse their behavior toward you.  It might, however, give a partial explanation.)I recall once seeing a guy lash out at another in anger.  I knew this guy well.  He had suffered a few loses—theft by a former co-worker, his own health issue, the death of his mom.  I recall seeing him speak sharply to his friend.  I thought, "This really isn’t about him or what you didn’t like about what he said.  This anger is about your loses."  That doesn’t excuse his rude behavior.  It would be wrong though for a person to think that his friend’s behavior created all of this anger.  It didn’t.  Much of that anger came from his loses.All of us (myself included) need to guard against allowing unfinished business to stir enough fear or anger in me that I treat another in a way that only builds walls and drives them away. 

  8. Hi Mary Ann,How sad regarding your friend.  It is amazing how we will allow our fears and insecurites take over and govern how we treat another.  Instead of loving another, we get preoccupied with what this person has (attractiveness–in the case of your friend).  I seen this same dynamic at work with people who are wealthy, who have much formal education, or who have a high profile job.  It is like some of us can’t past ourselves so that we can love these people.Many years ago, a guy wanted to talk with me one afternoon.  I saw him drive into our parking lot.  He was driving a brand new Corvette.  He was handsome, well dresseed, and from all indication was doing well financially.  I felt jealous.  I remember thinking about how great it would be to be this guy.A few minutes later, he sat in my office weeping.  He told me that he had all of this "stuff" but his life was falling apart.After he left, I felt convicted.  I had foolishly started the conversation focused on me instead of loving the guy.Thanks for the very kind words that you said about the blog.  I hope you will comment again. 

  9. Maryann, you said: "she was a model. she was beautiful. they hated her.:
     
    That’s what was done to me too.  I had actually tried out to be a model, but I moved out the area and didn’t pursue it after that.  One of the women in the church did befriend me, but after a couple of years, she walked out of my life.
     
    One of her parting words to me were "you’re a very beautiful woman, I just wanted you to know that."
     
    I later learned she was green with envy and that’s why she mistreated me.
     
    I let myself go so I could have friends.  I stopped dressing up and I gained weight.  I started a personal blog to address the issues I’m faced with, that is, giving up all my dreams because I was trying to please other people.
     
    I learned when you are beautiful, you are hated.  When you are overweight, you are mocked.  I may as well be the way God intended, and forget what people think.  I want to be a dancer.  Though, I don’t know what God thinks of that yet, it’s in my heart to get back to where I used to be with the way I looked.
     
    I still don’t want to go to church though because I’m not ready to deal with people’s critisms of me or my trials.  I know I have maturing to do yet in that area, but I can’t be confident in who I am while people are tearing me down and avoiding me because my circustances are beyond what they can comprehend.

  10. you are beautiful to Him.
    his thoughts are higher than our human ways of thinking…we have to remember that what people see and say doesnt reflect what HE sees and says about you most of the time.
    be who you are when it is just you and Him alone in a room with no one watching.  be true to that "you" and you will find peace.
    and dance……always dance…size 4 or size 24…DANCE!! it brings Him joy.